US President Donald Trump describes Kashmir as 'big problem' in India visit

Source: PTI | Published on 26th February 2020, 2:32 PM | National News | Global News |

New Delhi: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday described the Kashmir issue as a "big problem" and a "thorn" for a long time, and offered to mediate in de-escalating tensions between India and Pakistan.

However, he clarified that he is not offering to mediate on the Kashmir issue.

At a packed press conference, the US president also said ways to deal with terrorism figured prominently in his talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi who, Trump stressed, is determined to check the menace.

"We talked a lot about Pakistan. I have a very good relationship with Prime Minister Khan. We talked about it today at length with Prime Minister Modi. No question it is a problem. It is a problem, they are working on it," Trump said.

He further added: "We just hope, and I just said I'll do whatever I have to do, if I can do that because my relationship with both gentlemen is so good. But there has been difficulty in Pakistan. We are seeing what we can do about it. Anything I can do to mediate, anything I can do to help I would do."

Later, asked about India's rejection of his earlier offer to mediate on Kashmir, the US president said he is not offering to mediate on the issue.

"Kashmir has been a thorn in a lot of people's sides for a long time. There are two sides to every story," said Trump.

Since withdrawal of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, Trump has made his offer to mediate on Kashmir at least four times India's position has been that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and there is no question of any mediation.

On terrorism, Trump said the issue was discussed "at great length", and that Modi has very strong views over it.

"Modi is a very religious man, he is a very calm man, but actually he is a very very strong person, and very tough, actually. I have seen him in action. He has got that foremost on his mind (to deal with) terrorism. He will take care of it," Trump said.

After talks with Trump, Modi, in his media statement, said both sides have taken a decision to further increase efforts to hold supporters of terrorism responsible.

On his part, Trump said both the countries affirmed their commitment to protect their citizens from radical Islamic terrorism.

In his media statement earlier, Trump said the United States is working productively with Pakistan to confront terrorists who operate on its soil.

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